Excerpt: FourSquare, Groupon offer small-biz benefits – Article

Excerpt from an article I wrote for Inside Business newspaper (print and online):

"David"<– I have a friend whose daily activities can be viewed by the world through FourSquare. We know where he is almost every minute of the day (and boy, does he eat a lot!). So what is FourSquare? And how can you use it to benefit your business?

The premise of FourSqure is that you download an application to your smartphone (Blackberry, iPhone, etc.) or go to FourSquare.com on your computer or mobile device. After identifying where you are (some phones do this with geo-locating GPS), a list of places shows up that are in your vicinity. Select the one you are in, and “Check In.” You get points and earn badges for visiting, and if you visit that place a lot, you can become “Mayor.” Once you’ve checked in, you can let your friends know where you are by sending the Twitter and Facebook alert with your current location.

Let’s have a look at another recent entry in to the social space – Groupon. These guys have been getting a lot of national press lately. Those of us in the social networking space have been awaiting the arrival of this ‘group buy’ service to Hampton Roads. Groupon takes the power of bulk buying and brings it directly to local communities. How? By approaching businesses in select locales, and negotiating enormous discounts on products and services. They do this by providing just one offer a day (creating a sense of urgency to the purchase), and by developing a strong following of consumers using social media and viral marketing.

So if you’re a small business in Hampton Roads, and you want to get more business (who doesn’t!) then you might like to consider coming up with a great offer to include in Groupon. You gain traffic, sales and buzz! Oh, and one more thing, Groupon pays its members $10 for every referral they get. So if I like an offer, and put it on Facebook (with a unique link to their website provided just for me), and someone buys a Groupon through that link, then I get $10 credit on my account. How cool is that! Gives me an incentive to promote Groupon to my friends and followers, creating a viral promotion.

Read the article in its entirety here!

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